The irresistible enigma of lost treasures provokes lust burning deep in the soul. Adventures and fairy-tales have began by virtue of the overpowering desire to discover, to posses, to lay eyes on a precious antique object shrouded in mystery.
A long lost masterpiece by Fabergé's chief jeweler August Holmstrom has recently been found and saved from the melting pot. The Fabergé Imperial Easter Egg was ordered by Emperor Alexander III of Russia as a gift for Empress Maria Feodorovna for Easter 1887.
Made from yellow gold and studded with diamonds and sapphires, the 8.2 cm tall egg sits on its original tripod with lion paw feet. Encircled with gold flower garlands strung from cabochon blue sapphires topped with rose diamond-set bows it is a true chef d'oeuvre.
Like all Fabergé's eggs, it contains a "surprise" - a beautiful lady's watch by Vacheron Constantin with a white enamel face and diamond-set gold hands, mounted inside so it can be displayed upright.
The Egg was last displayed in St Petersburg in 1902 before being seized by the Bolsheviks during the 1917 Russian Revolution. After missing for 112 years it appeared in the United States when an unidentified man bought it at a market in the U.S. Midwest for $14,000, intending to sell it for scrap. Unable to find a buyer, he searched the Internet and realized that he may have found Empress Maria Feodorovna's lost Easter egg.
"In the hierarchy of Fabergé objects, the egg occupies the very, very highest level," said Kieran McCarthy, director of London antiques dealer Wartski. "They each took a year to make from the original conception to the completion of it for delivery on Good Friday each Easter."
The Third Imperial Egg is one of 50 delivered by Fabergé to Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II from 1885 to 1916, and until its recent discovery was one of eight lost eggs. Only two others of these lost eggs are thought to have survived the revolution, reports FashionMag.
Wartski, which specializes in the work of Fabergé has bought the Egg for an unidentified private collector who has permitted it to go on show. You can lay your eyes on the lost treasure from April 14 to 17 at Wartski's showroom in London near Bond Street.
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